Parents warned about new vaping device abuse in teens

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Most parents know that kids can be very ingenious and innovative, especially when it comes to doing things they shouldn’t. Pennington County sheriff’s deputies want to raise awareness among parents about “juuling,” a method kids are using to discreetly use electronic vaping devices.

The activity is named for the JUUL, a brand of vaping device. It is illegal to sell to anyone under 18, but kids often purchase them online using debit cards or gift cards. The devices are small and often look like USB drives or other seemingly innocent items.

Their size makes them easy to conceal. And while the cartridges are intended to be for a single use, there are videos online that show how to inject illegal substances like marijuana or hashish oil into them.

Rapid City Area Schools have reported that three students have been caught juuling on school property.

JUUL claims that one cartridge is equivalent to one pack of traditional cigarettes. Deputies say that the devices are especially dangerous to young people because no research has been conducted into the effects on their health.

“It’s no longer smoking in the boys’ room in our schools anymore,” said Sgt. Chris Hislip, school resource officer supervisor with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. “We have these vaping devices that are easily concealable, easily used, hard for parents to detect, and the health effects are truly unknown.”

And deputies say parents are the most important line of defense in keeping their kids safe.

“We believe our greatest tool against misuse is an informed and educated parent, so I think that if we just know what we’re looking for, we’ve already won half the battle,” Hislip said.

To find more information about juuling and what you can do if you think your child is using the device, visit the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse online.

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